There are two basic ways to make carbonated water at home. The first is to buy a commercial brand soda maker from a company like Soda Stream, which retail for anywhere from $99.95 to $249.95 and up. The other is a more complicated process that requires a number of different tools and a natural tendency towards home experimentation.
Carbonated Water Equipment
As English scientist Joseph Priestly was the first to determine in the late 18th century, the key to making carbonated water is carbon dioxide. For purists working from scratch, it starts with some sort of cylinder of CO2 gas, which – like propane – is available in five-pound, ten-pound, and other weight mass varieties. Additional tools needed are a regulator, hose, a disconnect mechanism, hose clamps, a bottler and empty bottles. The best place to buy all of this home carbonation equipment is at a store that specializes in homemade beer brewing.
Much of the set-up involves connecting the regulator to the CO2 canister and adjusting it to a pressure of 30 PSI. The CO2 gas is as dangerous as propane, so it is important to follow all safety precautions. Once you have connected the CO2 canister to the regulator, it’s time to select flavoring ingredients such as juice and sugar, and have them on hand. Pre-made soda mixes can also be used.
One of the most important things to remember is that warm water does not carbonate. Ideally, water used for the homemade carbonation process should be chilled overnight before use. Once you connect a bottle full of this water to the CO2, you will need to monitor the pressure gauge to be aware of the flow of CO2 from the canister to the bottle. Shaking the bottle can also help speed the process wherein the water is turning the CO2 into carbonic acid. Once the gauge stabilizes back to 30 PSI, the water is carbonated and ready for the flavoring ingredients.
Mallet, John . “Pop Art: Making Soda: BrewPub Magazine Feature 2.” BrewPub Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2010. <http://dwb4.unl.edu/Chem/CHEM869V/CHEM869VLinks/www.brewpubmag.com/98jul/feature2.html>.
American Chemical Society (ACS) – Joseph Priestley, Retrieved August 23, 2010 from http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_ARTICLEMAIN&node_id=925&content_id=CTP_004441&use_sec=true&sec_url_var=region1&__uuid=bce04da4-1bcd-440c-8473-8b8ef6836bde
“Sodastream | Sparkling Water.” Sodastream | Turn Water Into Fresh Sparkling Water And Soda. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2010. http://www.sodastreamusa.com/seltzer.aspx.